Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tin Horn Uprising Makes a Joyful Noise

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Tin Horn Uprising
  • Tin Horn Uprising

The current political climate has launched a wave of protest not seen in America since the 1960s, and with the advent of the Internet displays of dissent are being manifested in all kinds of creative ways. But although petitions, direct correspondence with governmental representatives, letters to publication editors, boycotts, and other methods can be very effective tools for getting the point across, old-fashioned, nonviolent, boots-on-the-ground/sign-in-the-hand public rallies and marches are still imperative. And if you’re marching, how great is it to have a stirring live musical soundtrack? Enter the local activist brass marching band Tin Horn Uprising.

Recalling the revolutionary brass bands of Europe and named in honor of the Tin Horn Rebellion, which took place in upstate New York during the 1839-1946 Anti-Renter movement, the Kingston-based collective “support[s] actions, marches, rallies, and events across the Hudson Valley.” Perhaps, like me, you're among the thousands of protestors at recent anti-Trump and pro-Affordable Care Act rallies in New Paltz, Kinderhook, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and other Hudson Valley cities who've been uplifted and inspired by their jubilant din.

“We are currently looking for opportunities to join your work, and are always looking for new band members—which includes banner holders, dancers, puppeteers, and flag wavers,” says the open-to-all band’s website. “As we step into this New Year and new regime, we ask you to dust off your clarinet, trombone or marching snare-drum, pull your high school marching band uniform from the attic, and once again sound the call for political action with us.”

Here’s a link to Tin Horn Uprising’s Facebook page, which has videos of the group in action at various gatherings:


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Not Your Mother’s Skating Rink

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Skating at Wood'n Wheel
  • Skating at Wood'n Wheel

For parents who grew up in the era of roller skating birthday parties to the rhythm of Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson, it’s a roll down memory lane to bring the family roller skating now. What might feel different, though, is how the Hudson Valley roller skating scene has grown into family fun centers that specialize in live action gaming. You can still host a child’s birthday party at them, but there’s also so much more.

Several of my own childhood birthday parties happened at Wood’n Wheel in Port Ewen, which celebrates its 43rd year of business this October. Adding to the maple wood rink, DJ, arcade, and snack bar, they now offer indoor laser tag, a rock wall, a gyroscope, and bumper cars, so your kids can put those couch cushions down and get their winter energy out somewhere else. On most Saturday mornings, there’s a special Tyke Time where kids ages six and under get free reign to navigate the skating floor on their own terms. Wood N Wheel has the traditional four-wheel skates, as well as inline skates. And they offer rolling frames to help new skaters get their footing without falling flat. Outdoor attractions are also available seasonally and weather permitting, so it’s a fun center that families can enjoy year-round.
Wood’n Wheel Family Fun Center at 365 Route 9W in Ulster Park: roller skating is $9.50-11 per person per session, not including skate rental, and less for other attractions; open weekends. For more info, visit their website.

Downstate in Orange County, the Castle Fun Center is a 10,000 square foot roller skating rink with light and sound shows. They incorporate raffles, games, and prizes into skating sessions, and guests are welcome to bring their own skates or rent quads and roller blades. New skaters can sign up for Beginners Skate Lessons on Thursday nights and Saturdays, which are free with paid skate session. Also in the park is a restaurant and pub, laser maze, and the Ballocity arena where all ages can blast floor canons and balance balls on jets of air. The Castle also hosts the Empire State Roller Derby for practices and games.
The Castle Fun Center at 109 Brookside Avenue in Chester: roller skating is $6-9 per person per session with $3.50-4.50 rentals, and varying prices for attractions; pre-load a Castle Card, which is good for all attractions and entertainment and never expires; Thursday Skate Sessions are just $1, and all activities are half-price on Wednesdays; open seven days a week. Visit their website for details.

Like that? Check out Hyde Park Roller Magic and Skate Time 209, too.
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Richard Barone Performs in Beacon This Sunday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Richard Barone
  • Richard Barone

Richard Barone is the front man of one of my favorite bands of the early 1980s, the Bongos, and although he makes his home in New York, he’s no stranger to the Hudson Valley. Besides occasionally performing up here, he still works from time to time with Bongos bassist Rob Norris, who lives in Accord. On Sunday, Barone returns to the region for an engagement at the Towne Crier.

As an acclaimed singer-songwriter both with the Bongos and as a solo artist, Barone is well aware of the roots of his craft, and he mines that well deeply on his newest album, Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s. As you might surmise, the self-released set is a collection of songs originally recorded in that musically glorious decade by songwriters contemporaneous with the Village scene. Among the artists covered by Barone for the album are Dion, Fred Neil, the Velvet Underground, the Lovin’ Spoonful, Tim Hardin, and, of course, Bob Dylan.

Here, from Sorrows & Promises, Barone and guest players the Kennedys perform Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bleecker Street”:

Richard Barone will perform with Peter Calo and Chris Brown at the Towne Crier in Beacon, New York, on February 19 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (845) 855-1300 or visit http://www.townecrier.com/.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brian Dewan Sings Love Songs in Catskill Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Brian Dewan
  • Brian Dewan

Today being Valentine’s Day ’n’ all, if you and your significant other don’t already have any specific plans for the occasion—or even if you do—you should head on up to the Exchange House in Catskill tonight. Why? Because there a real sweet treat awaits: Lovable local Brian Dewan will be holding forth with a program he describes as “songs of love and unruly passions.”

The eccentric Dewan, who I had the pleasure of profiling for Chronogram way back in 2008, is one of our regional treasures. In addition to being the inventor of a growing raft of handmade analog synthesizers and other instruments, he’s a hugely entertaining singer-songwriter and musician (he plays accordion and electric zither) and a collector and performer of arcane songs from various eras.

Enjoy this 2012 rendition of his song “Sick Day”:

Brian Dewan will perform at the Exchange House at 354 Main Street, Catskill, New York, on February 14 at 7pm. For more information, call (646) 399-0983.

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Monday, February 13, 2017


Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Michael Grant with preschoolers - COURTESY OF THE RED HOOK PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • courtesy of the Red Hook Public Library
  • Michael Grant with preschoolers

Michael Grant set some shoeboxes, sealed with rubber bands, inside the circle of preschoolers. He showed the kids a collection of loose objects, and asked the kids to guess which were hiding inside each sealed shoebox. Each guess was a hypothesis and each preschooler, a scientist. They compared the objects and boxes, exploring the sounds, feel, and weight of each. Then they learned if their hypotheses were supported, as they opened each box to reveal what was inside.

This is Kidology, a new program for kids ages 2-5 (though toddlers enjoy it, too) at the Red Hook Public Library, which happens every Tuesday morning. Pairing kids’ natural curiosity with the scientific method through science-inspired songs, stories, crafts, and games, Kidology offers a new subject each week on topics ranging from animal classification to light physics. “The idea for Kidology is that it’s never too early to start learning about science,” says Library Director Dawn Jardine. “Even if they’re very young, you can still introduce them to the scientific method.”

Grant, who taught at the Wayfinder Experience prior to becoming a librarian at Red Hook, is practiced in working with kids through different modalities and access points. He gets on the floor, incorporates role play, and isn’t afraid to dance or sing.

Science education is an active focus for the Red Hook Public Library. Jardine and a colleague received a grant to train last year at the Lunar Planetary Institute, and they’ve been bringing that enthusiasm and knowledge back to library patrons ever since. The library runs regular science programs for homeschoolers on Thursdays, and are always increasing their already large collection of science-related books and resources for families. The library will offer more science camps this summer, like last year’s camp about Mars. And this May, the library will create a mini-museum display to showcase a recent donation of memorabilia from the Apollo space missions to share with the public.

Kidology at the Red Hook Public Library, 7444 S. Broadway in Red Hook: Tuesdays at 10:30a; free and open to all; no sign-up necessary. In case of inclement weather, check the library’s Facebook page for updates on programming. For more information, call the Red Hook Public Library, 845-758-3241 or visit their website.

Look for the Red Hook Public Library’s solar eclipse celebration this August! The solar eclipse happens on August 21st, 2017.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hudson Event Focuses on Vintage Indian Music and Live Rock

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM


On Tuesday’s memorial to local musician Jeremy Kelly, I referenced one of his performances at the Spotty Dog Books & Ale and the Hudson shop's role as a crucible of cool music. By dint of pure timing, today I’m compelled to tell you about a very highly recommended event at the bookstore/bar/music venue, which happens there tomorrow, February 10: a presentation by author and musicologist Rob Millis about his new book/CD set Indian Talking Machine followed by live performances from PGsix, Decimus, and Millis himself.

Indian Talking Machine focuses on impossibly rare 78rpm records of Indian music that Millis discovered himself during a year he spent in India as a Fulbright researcher. Sublime Frequencies, a West Coast label that is, arguably, today’s most vital chronicler of arcane ethnic music, is the perfect home for such a project—a 244-page hardbound book featuring “over 300 photographs [and] two CDs of music from shellac discs spanning the years 1903 to 1949 collected in India and compiled by the author; virtuoso instrumental recordings, jaw-dropping vocal renditions, folk music, comedy recordings, even animal impressions, none of which have ever been issued in digital form.”

Here’s a promo trailer for the book:

“Double Header: Sublime Frequencies’ Rob Millis + Rock!” will take place at Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, New York, on February 10 at 7pm. First, Millis will show video pertaining to Indian Talking Machine and discuss the book. Performances by PGsix, Millis, and Decimus will follow. Admission is $10. For more information, call (518) 671-6006 or visit http://www.thespottydog.com/.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jeremy Kelly (1980-2017)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Jeremy Kelly
  • Jess Puglisi
  • Jeremy Kelly

Last week, I was saddened to hear the news of another tragic loss for the Hudson Valley’s musical community: Experimental/noise musician and guitarist Jeremy Kelly has passed.

I can’t say I really knew Jeremy, and I’d guess I’m far from alone in that way among the people on the scene he interacted with—Jeremy struck me as a famously difficult person to get to know, withdrawn to the point of being painful. A soft-spoken, textbook troubled soul, he communicated mainly through his music, which was captured on limited-edition, deep-D.I.Y. cassettes and CD-Rs under his own name and with acts like the Family Band and Voder Deth Squad.

A riveting winter 2009 solo performance he did at the Spotty Dog—a laptop, a bunch of effects pedals, a Marshall 4x12 cabinet—was key in sealing the deal for my moving to Hudson, where I would live for five years. What Jeremy was doing was simply not happening in Saugerties, where I had been living at the time. If radical stuff like this is going on here, I reasoned, then Hudson’s the place for me. “Hey man, I really dig what you do,” I told Jeremy that night.

I attempted to make conversation with him at subsequent points, as I felt more people should know about him and his music and I wanted to feature him in the magazine in some way. But he demurred, seeming to shy away from the very concept of attention. And yet, as a mutual friend pointed out, while there were indeed dark clouds around Jeremy, there was light there as well.

Here’s a 2010 piece by Jeremy. The word “dark” is in the title, and dark it is. But if you listen long and hard enough I think you’ll hear some light too.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Parenting Guru Comes to Merritt Bookstore

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 9:00 AM


Start chatting with Kira Wizner, and you'll ultimately learn about several amazing books. The newish (since late 2015) owner of Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, Wizner is particularly proud of the bookstore’s parenting section, which she carefully curates. Wizner comes from a teaching background, and has led parenting workshops focused around the philosophy detailed in the bestselling classic How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. So the event at Wizner’s shop on Saturday, February 11th, with Hudson Valley author and parenting expert, Joanna Faber, has the perfect home.

Joanna Faber is Adele Faber’s daughter, and a parenting expert in her own right. An educator and parenting coach, Joanna Faber’s 2017 book, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, (co-authored with Julie King) builds on her mother’s work, as well as her own. With wonderful humor and the sense that the authors know a parent’s pain, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen presents practical information for a joyful parenting relationship with very young children.

Wizner encourages people to buy the book ahead of time, and to come to the shop on Saturday with questions for Faber. The event will be an opportunity to start a conversation around the successes and challenges of parenting young children, face-to-face with an expert who gets it. While the event is geared towards adults, parents can feel free to bring their children, if needed. Merritt Bookstore will provide an art project to occupy children. The bookstore also has extensive and cozy YA and children’s sections and a toystore.

Meet the author at Merritt Bookstore, 57 Front Street in Millbrook: Saturday, February 11th, at 11:30a, free. Bring your questions about the book, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, and meet and talk parenting with the author, Joanna Faber.

Merritt Bookstore regularly hosts events and book clubs at the shop, and artist receptions in their upstairs gallery. Find out more on their website.
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Why Ice Storms Aren't Cool: Forest Service Scientist to Discuss Research on Deadly Winter Storms

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 4:00 AM

  • Pamela Freeman
What’s white, cold and has sudden bursts of chaos? Deadly winter storms that have helped mold forest ecosystems for years. In alternating everything from the composition of trees to the water quality. Think about forests across the Northeast, they exist due in part to these storms. As climate change continues to be a topic of discussion and the strength of these storms intensifies, there is still something scientists have been missing. A way to predict where and when these storms will attack and what the aftermath means for the landscape. US Forest Service scientist Dr. Lindsey Rustad and her team are working to change that. On Friday evening, she will be at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY discussing her teams’ Experimental Ice Storm Experiment. It is the first study of its kind to “simulate large ice storms.” Working in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, scientists are creating ice storms with different intensities and frequencies. Thanks to the work of Dr. Lindsey and her team there is now insight on the effects these storms can have on northern hardwood forests. To better understand the ecologically of it all, this video from National Geographic showcases the findings in a visually stunning way. Doors open at 6:30pm. Shelter yourself from the chaos and listen to what Dr. Rustad has to say about winter’s not so little friend.
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Baby Dee Serenades Hudson This Month

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Baby Dee
  • Baby Dee

Ya learn something new in this music-journalism racket every day, I tell ya. Today I found out that Cleveland-born cult musician and performance artist Baby Dee has ties to the Hudson Valley: After spending 10 years as a church organist and music director, the transgender street performer later served as the bandleader of Hudson’s Bindlestiff Family Circus. So it will likely be one big, well, family reunion when she plays the Columbia County city’s Rivertown Lodge on February 24.

Dee’s musical approach sometimes gets eclipsed by her eccentric image; she made her name in the late-1990s Lower East Side via sidewalk shows that saw her playing classical harp atop a high-rise tricycle. Enjoy the spectacle, but don’t be overly distracted—her stark, heartbreaking sound has soulful depth beyond belief.

Consider this 2011 rendition of “A Morning Holds a Star”:

Baby Dee will perform at Rivertown Lodge in Hudson, New York, on February 24 at 8pm. Admission is free. For more information, call (518) 512-0954 or visit https://rivertownlodge.com/.

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  • Re: Jeremy Kelly (1980-2017)

    • Very reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's drone pieces.

    • on February 8, 2017

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